Monday, May 12, 2014

OKC profile as of 5/12/2014

If the volume of verbiage feels overwhelming, just say "hello". Ask me a question. Tell me about the last book you read, the last trip you took, something interesting you did recently... I'll say "hi" back, and we can take it from there. I think OKC in some ways causes us to think the process of establishing meaningful connections with other human is way more complicated than it needs to be.

12/16/2012: Why are so many straight men visiting my profile? ... and not messaging me. What is up with that? Some of them even look like cool people.

10/18/2012: If you are just looking for new friends or are confident in your understanding of ethical non-monogamy (aka polyamory), you can skip the rant about OKC's failure to deal effectively with it. Otherwise, read on. :)

// begin rant

Short rant about OKC and non-monogamy

[10/20/2012 - Abberation, or complain loudly enough and things get fixed? Three interesting bi/poly women in my "Quiver" this a.m. ... so where are the bi/poly men? Maybe I should rant about that?]

[11/4/2012 - Aberration. Sigh.]

If you are looking for a romantic relationship with someone who is single, I apologize for the fact that for some godforsaken reason, OKC refuses to a) permit non-monogamous people to filter out monogamous people from their searches and matches and b) match non-monogamous people with other non-monogamous people ... or even proxy all this by allowing people like myself who are "not single" to exclude people who list "people who are single" as a "I'm looking for" criteria from searches and matches. Baffling.

The upshot of this is that I have to look at your profile before I can tell whether or not we match on that fundamental criterion... and I have to scroll all the way to the bottom of it to do so. Stupid stupid stupid. Thus, I will show up on your list of "Visitors" (and you on mine). The most likely candidates for this are "Quiver" matches, but even though my searches are typically restricted to "people who are not single" (which is the only real proxy for the question of non-monogamy, even if it excludes a large percentage of that population), I do occasionally wind up visiting monogamous people's profiles while browsing around. Petition time?

Update, April 2014: They've partially fixed this, by adding a search for non-monogamy to the filters, but most folks haven't yet updated their profiles, so the results are kind of sparse at the moment.

// end rant

// begin standalone update
(still) wondering if updating leads to more views of my profile. I guess I show up in the "activity" feed, maybe?

OKC's algorithms for matching are mysterious. Why is it that they can do all this super-detailed statistical analysis, but still insist on matching me with clearly monogamous people (and vice versa), and can't let me directly filter on that status?!?

// end standalone update

Note: this section is clearly too long, but I don't think or talk in sound bites (much to the eternal regret of my two step-daughters).

My latest epiphany: I'm demisexual, meaning I need an emotional connection of substance prior to being sexually attracted to someone. I.e., friends first. My brain is just wired differently from that of your conventional male. The moment I came across the term, as with realizing I was bisexual at 18, my whole life suddenly made sense. It was a profound experience.


I really dig getting to know people in depth. They *interest* me. Probably because I was a total bookworm / introvert for most of my youth, and didn't begin to emerge from my shell until my late twenties. I'm still working through that process, learning how to connect with people at a non-trivial level, and maintain those connections over time.

The number one thing I value in my life is my connections with people: my family, my friends, my community. Those are far more important than money, fame, power, prestige; in my mind, those things are only valuable in that they help accomplish other goals, such as being in a position to help my friends and the many causes I support.

I'm on OKC to make friends, as much, or more, than to meet and make new lovers (although that's a very nice thing to have happen). Meaningful connections don't have to be intimate bonds. Say hi if anything in my profile sparks your interest!


Note: I want to be clear and up front about my relationship status, and goals, for those of you interested in more than simple friendship: I'm married (12+ years) to <<godmoma>>, and I also have a sweetie, <<suzsteppingup>> (five years). I love and adore both of them very much. I've also recently developed a relationship with <<trixel-ti>> and <<PeacePower>>, two very awesome people I met while on vacation in Southern California earlier this year. And, I think disintegrity (who has disabled her profile), is totally *awesome* and love her quite intensely, even though we're just friends at this point.

The demands of running my consulting business and maintaining my existing relationships put a practical constraint on how much time and energy I have available for new relationships. However: if you are local to Santa Cruz, and can tolerate an irregular schedule, my workaholic wife is busy from about 11-midnight six or seven days a week, and my other partner Is equally busy and lives over the hill, and thus I have random chunks of free time available when in Santa Cruz that I would really enjoy sharing with someone fun and interesting and AVAILABLE to do things with. LOL.

Also, I need to be clear: I'm not looking to get divorced and move in with someone. All my intimate relationships are on the up and up, everyone knows about everyone else, and where they stand. That means there are at two other folks with whom I have to negotiate the terms of any additional intimate relationships.

That said, I don't subscribe to the idea of a hierarchical set of relationship structures: every relationship stands on its own, whole and complete as it is. My life is centered in Santa Cruz, with my wife, my children and two decades of engagement with my community, but part of my heart and head is still in Santa Monica where I grew up, another with my college friends, and now too the East Bay, where I work and spend time with my long term sweetie. Come into my life, and you'll be on equal terms with everyone else I value (acknowledging my wife's seniority and centrality to my life, and my existing long term commitment to be there for my sweeties).

You get what you give. My friendship and love are offered unconditionally, and to whatever extent possible given competing demands, I *will* be there for you.

If you can't handle the poly thing and are looking exclusively for intimate / romantic relationships, I understand. No hard feelings.

If you can handle the poly thing, or just want to be friends... wonderful. Let's have coffee somewhere and connect in person. If you're a cute bi male, or a gay male without hangups about bisexuality and non-monogamy, bonus points. Seriously. :)


With regards to more detail about me, well I've typed and re-typed and re-re-typed so many of these profiles over the years that I'm kind of burnt out on the process (though I'm working through that), so let me just toss out some keywords here: [[bi]]/[[bisexual]], [[poly]]/[[polyamorous]]/[[polyamory]], [[Gnostic]] Christian, [[geek]], good with [[computers]], into [[science fiction]], play [[board games]]/[[war games]] regularly, well and widely read, politically informed and engaged, [[self-employed]] IT Services [[consultant]], [[entrepreneur]], on the Internet since 1990. Googling my name yields 10,000+ entries, most of them about me (and not some other person with the same name).

I am a values driven person. I invest what energy and attention I can spare from my work and business in community-building / oriented activities: friendships and family, activist work on behalf of a myriad of causes, and communities of interest (some of which overlap).

This has manifested itself in the past in a wide variety of ways:

My mother has been a full time community activist on behalf of youth and the disenfranchised since I was six years old, so almost as soon as I could see over the podium, I was speaking at School Board and City Council meetings. As I grew up, I wound up deeply engaged in various organizations and activist efforts, including working on issues of homelessness and youth empowerment, serving as a campaign intern for the first openly lesbian City Councilwoman elected in a major U.S. city, being a part of Junior Statesmen and Junior Achievement, serving in student government, and becoming the Master Councilor of a DeMolay Chapter.

In college, I was actively engaged in my school's queer activist/social group, student government, the school newspaper, and lived in the school's formally multi-cultural residence hall. I participated in the mass occupation of our school's administration building, as well as in street protests against the first Gulf War and the veto of AB 101 (domestic partnership bill) by California's then Governor, Pete Wilson.

As an adult, I've participated in, lead, and founded multiple organizations and groups involved in queer community organizing and politics, homelessness, housing issues, civil liberties and civil rights, free speech and Green Party politics. My first instinct, when I see a community of interest not being served, is to create a vehicle for building community: a mailing list, a Facebook page, a Meetup, an organization, a web site, and hopefully inspire others to participate in making it a success (doesn't always happen). Often these interest intersect, such as via my involvement in the National Lavender Greens Caucus (Green Party's formal queer special interest group).

I was even crazy enough to run for City Council at one point (in 2002).

My primary recreational activity is learning about the world around me, and keeping up with current events; the result is a constant stream of postings to my Facebook page, many of which provoke follow up discussions between myself and various friends and acquaintances. This often overlaps with my activist efforts, as I see to share information I've learned in the process of educating myself on a particular subject or issue.

I also make time to read on regular basis: mostly science fiction and fantasy novels, but including a significant amount of other forms of fiction and non-fiction. As well, I am a member of two different informal gaming circles, and thus spend an afternoon/evening or two a week engaged in board and card games of various sorts with friends and acquaintances.

I do my best to stay fit and active, working out with a trainer two or three times a week, doing karate on the weekend, eating reasonably healthily (am a vegetarian as well).


What inspires my interest when I browse other people's profiles is how their values manifest in their lives: people who are passionate about what they're doing, their engagement in the community, who are driven to make a difference in the lives of the people around them: that's "hot", to me. :)

To that end, I hope my profile provokes a similar reaction in you, as I've just spent far more time than I ever intended in trying to provide some tangibility to a lot of verbiage. ... and yes, I do tend to go on, and on, and on. :)

I am inspiration, ecstasy, and grace (as per the Landmark Forum circa ten years ago).

--Thomas Leavitt

Monday, December 27, 2004

Lakoff critique

This is a critique of Lakoff worth reading.

--Thomas Leavitt

Message: 1
Date: Fri, 24 Dec 2004 18:23:04 -0500
From: "Arthur Myatt"
Subject: Thinking about Lakoff's elephant

George Lakoff's book, "Don't Think of an Elephant - Know Your Issues and Frame the Debate," has been recommended to me by a couple of people and will be discussed at the Huntington Woods Peace Project book group. I bought it, read it, and was unhappy with it. While it does have some valid insights into the political process, it is also pretty deeply flawed, in my opinion.

I wrote a review to explain what the main flaws are. The review ran to seven pages, single-spaced. Rather than loading down your e-mail with it, I posted the article at, where you can find it if you are interested. Let me know your reaction if you read it.

"" is my campaign web site for the 2000 general election, now updated with a report on the campaign (home page) and with this review.

Arthur Myatt

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Death of the Planet: "every year, natural habitats and dependent vertebrate populations decrease by an average of 1.1 percent".

The source for the quote in the title is an article I read on CNN this morning, discussing the possibility that anywhere between ten and a quarter of the world's bird species are likely to be extinct by the end of the century (year 2100).

The article ends with this summary from another recent report on extinction probabilities:

"In November the World Conservation Union reported that it found 12 percent of all bird species were threatened with extinction, along with nearly one-fourth of the world's mammals, a third of amphibians and 42 percent of all turtles and tortoises."

This is the world we are leaving to our children. I would bet that most citizens of the United States and other countries would rather these extinctions be averted, and yet this is not a prominent topic of discussion in our public dialogue, among our leaders, or in the media... it is likely that the Scott/Laci Petersen murder case generated more coverage and bigger headlines than every report on this topic in the last decade, combined. Very sad.

This needs to change - and the only way to do it, is to take action yourself... talk about this to your friends, demand your local media cover these stories, demand your elected representatives at every level address these issues, and raise them in every public forum (such as this) that you can.

--Thomas Leavitt

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Social Security: changing the frame of discussion.

Progressives need to change how the discussion around "reform" or "privatization" of Social Security is being framed in order to win this fight. Attempting to defend the traditional conception of Social Security as a government funded "retirement plan" is a losing proposition, when faced with the Republican counter-meme that "privatized" retirement funds invested in the securities market under the direction of the individual taxpayer are a superior option and will generate greater long term returns.

What's the alternative framework for dicussion?

Simple: go back to basics.

Social Security is not a retirement plan. It is a floor, a commitment that says, if you've worked hard all your life, this is as far as we, as a society, will let you fall, and no further. The purpose of Social Security is to preserve the dignity of our citizenry in it's old age, to prevent people from being thrown out on the streets when they can no longer work. It is not intended, and it never was intended, to provide people with a comfortable retirement - that has been, and always will be, the resposibility of the individual themselves (thus there are pension plans, IRAs, 401(k)s, mutual funds, house payments, etc.).

That is the truth we need to speak.

We need to abandon the polite fiction of a "social security trust fund", and admit and acknowledge that Social Security is a "pay as you go" system - one that should be funded by the increasing tax base provided by economic growth.

On this basis, we need to challenge the notion that any part of Social Security needs to be "privatized" - by pointing out that there are already a wide array of "private" retirement fund options (many even subsidized by the government).

We especially need to challenge the absurd concept that the Federal government needs to borrow trillions of dollars to finance any "reform". This is insane - no responsible investment advisor would suggest mortgaging your home to invest in the stock market (even at today's low interest rates) - let alone taking a "second mortgage" to do it, and yet that is exactly what the Bush Administration is proposing to do: mortgage the country to finance private investment by individuals in the stock market.

That such a proposition has currency in today's political environment speaks volumes about how badly those defending Social Security are served by the current "retirement fund" meme.

It needs to be killed, dead, now. Those defending Social Security need to ban any language referencing that meme from their vocabulary, and instead replace it with terms like "dignity", "respect for our elders", "if you work hard all your life, no matter how bad your luck, there will be something there for you", "as past generations met their commitments to their elders, so to will this and future generations", "we will never allow people too old to work to be thrown out onto the streets due to lack of an income", "some folks have good luck, some folks have bad luck, some folks have no luck at all, and yet work hard all their life - Social Security is there for the woman who worked three jobs to put her kids through school and was never able to save a penny for herself; Social Security is there for the factory worker who got sick, lost his job, and saw the efforts of a lifetime consumed by medical and other bills; Social Security is there for the mid-level manager who trusted the leaders of his company and saw his retirement fund wiped out by accounting fraud", etc.

We need to quit fighting the right-wing on it's own turf, and change the terms of the debate, or we are going to lose this battle, and see one of the most fundamental success stories of our time, the vast reduction in poverty among the elderly, wiped out.

--Thomas Leavitt